The severity of the environmental situation and the role of beaver edificator

Throughout its existence, the beaver was a powerful edificator environment — active control of river flow (in their own "interests" and for the benefit of the ecosystem). Improving living conditions for all life, he made a significant contribution to the economy of nature. Centuries in the territories occupied for centuries beaver, man hunt for him, getting nutritious meat and skins for clothing, and for a long time, a unique remedy — castor. There was a time when the wealth derived from hunting beaver, affecting the economy and politics, and even a cause of war.

Greedy thoughtless destruction of huge beaver resources entailed not only a major economic losses due to the loss of a source of valuable products, but also great, but too slow to realize, if not detected, the damage to the environment. Resource recovery beaver almost throughout its area of distribution — in addition to countries and regions that have experienced too much landscape changes — was difficult to overestimate nimym achievement of nature conservation. Was restored almost extinct. However, in the absence of exploitation beavers quickly multiplied and settled even land, before uncharacteristic for them.

This process in different regions of the northern hemisphere proceeded asynchronously and at different speeds. The first signals of the damages caused by beavers, began to come in 40's. XX century. from the southern U.S. states with favorable climatic conditions for the rapid growth of their livestock (low quality fur). Beavers flooded roads, forest and farmland. Farmers, after a vain effort to expel intruders of their possessions had to look for ways on how to reduce the damage to return at least part of the loss, and even make a profit. Now they — of course, after the required landscaping and improve forage for ducks — pass beaver ponds in rent for recreational hunting of waterfowl (Arner, 1963; Renouf, 1972; Lochmiller, 1979).

When checking beaver land Latvia in late autumn 1985, we in beaver ponds Kuldigskogo forestry seen a lot of feeding ducks and sometimes their number exceeded 100 goals. Therefore, after harvesting of dead beaver ponds can become an excellent hunting ground. 1 km2 of wet lands foreign experts estimated at $ 20 million. This amount would have been investing for water, stabilize the water table, fixing soil, fertilizer and eliminate immission that before this was carried out without investing in the vital activity of the flora and fauna of shallow (Kurt, 1982; Westmann, 1977).

There is no doubt that it is the beavers were the creators of the shallow pools beginning of its existence until recently, they create them, and now — of course, this is as far as they allow the current man-made landscapes. The area occupied by beaver ponds, depending on the terrain, the number of settlements in the territories and food resources. The limit is set human economic activity. Therefore remark about Kurt F. carelessness assumption that a handful of beavers could have a sizeable impact on the h "simplicity of water, we believe it is appropriate only on a very densely populated lands man in Western Europe, where the settlement of beavers — a truly unique phenomenon, and not where their numbers millions.

Thus, the total number of beavers in North America, according to some sources, is estimated at 400 million animals, on the other — the number ranges from 150 to 200 million (Spencer, 1985). Certainly, in this case, beaver populations are a powerful natural factor. Extremely important is the contribution of beavers in soil nutrients. Beaver ponds are fertile sludge storage. Quantitative studies are needed to clarify the effectiveness of this process in today-anthropogenic landscape. This is even more important that the "one inch of fertile soil is formed under favorable conditions in the period from 100 to 400 years» (Kurt, 1982).

The largest consumer of water is agriculture public. Over the past two to three decades, grown vast cattle complexes appeared mechanical workshops, camps with plumbing and poorly functioning sewage, after reclamation formed large areas of arable land, cultivated pastures with their herds of cattle in several hundred individuals.

Simultaneously with the processing of agricultural land heavy machinery, soil compaction, and destroying much of the soil-forming organisms, dramatically increased runoff rich in nutrients and pesticides. Elimination of the negative consequences of these phenomena requires more resources. The greatest harm brings gross violation of the use of mineral fertilizers and machinery. "The basis of modern methods of cultivation must be based on accurate knowledge of their subsequent impact on the environment» (Stalbovs, 1986, 1pp. 13).

However, until now in wide circles remained confident admissibility of infinite expansion and intensification of production without additional investments to protect the environment (Stalbovs, 1983).

According to the materials of the World Health Organization, 5.6% of birth defects due to the adverse influence of the external environment. It is significant that in the period from 1965 to 1980 as a result of agricultural chemicals and industrial pollution the number of newborns with mental and physical defects in some countries has increased by 3-5 times (Jablokovs, 1986). Progressive rate of environmental pollution, especially water, make us seriously consider all possibilities — not only the technical and the known biological — to address environmental problems.

The greatest difficulties in protecting inland waters of the Estonian SSR is currently creating anthropogenic evtroflrovanie: phosphate levels in the reservoirs in Estonia increased over the past decade, an average of 9 times, and no time is typical of oligotrophic lakes (Simm, 1982, p. 91). However, this water purification, according Maastik A. (1982), is very expensive and is associated with the destruction of valuable nutrients. In Latvia, the case of pollution of inland waters is no better: 50% of the existing biological treatment plant is not operating effectively, breaking a natural balance in the food chain (Eipurs, 1984).

Hey Poor's notes that the biological treatment plant of waste water can be separated by no more than 85-90!% Organic matter and a small portion of fertilizers and other substances. Such, "according to the standards purified" sewage flowing into rivers and lakes, causing undesirable changes in them. As the intensity of exploitation of the territory of the increasing amount of pollutants enters it from agricultural fields with rain water. They cause the same harmful effects as sewage water. Thus, the concentration of surface waters in the waste water from plowing over standards of 2-15 times, with the farm — in 20-1000 fold and rural municipal wastewater — in 25-100 times. The amount of pollution entering the lakes and rivers in this way, is about 50% of the total.

The above analysis Eypursom food chain in fish ponds shows that the main benefit of aquatic organisms is bringing its contribution to water treatment. Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences found that if the damage caused by aquatic organisms, excluding fish, take a unit, the positive effects of the activity of these organisms should assess the number 3 or 4 (Eipurs, 1984). To prevent any secondary pollution of water substances in water grass, you need these herbs once a year, in September, mow (Eipurs, 1984, 1pp. 25). Note that aquatic plants — the main summer feeding otters and "mowing" water plants in this way was carried out long before the appearance of man, known only if it would be in force beavers and in our days.

The seriousness of the pollution of fresh water, the solution is a relatively densely populated area of the Latvian SSR, with its intensive agriculture can not be delayed, so to characterize writer M. Birze (Birze, 1986, 1pp. 45): "When you will be poisoned the last river and cut down the last tree and the last fish caught, only then — and it's bad — you will see that the money is not. " Today, this problem is exacerbated and fast, as the publications, a positive solution hinder mainly the high cost of necessary measures and structures, lack of environmental education, and sometimes neglect the people involved in these activities. Any delay in addressing the most expensive cleaning our resources — fresh water — is fraught with serious dangers. According to F. Kurt, we will win in a race with time, is far from clear. But clearly more — view is viable as long as he does not destroy the living environment for their children {Kurt, 1982, S. 209).

Our studies show (Balodis Tsimdinsh 1980; Balodis, 1984; Balodis, 1980a, b, c), that a significant (and not only does not. Powerful) way to solve these (and other) problems can be a rational use of multilateral resources in Beaver the intensive beaver management. We must remember that the uncontrolled spread of these animals threatened by various complications, and reasonable exploitation of promising multilateral benefits.

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